none more black…

This Is Spinal TapWhether it more deserves to be one of the great: comedies of all time, music films of all time or documentaries of all time… I don’t know, but it is certainly one of the great films of all time. Yes, This Is Spinal Tap and the world is a better place for it. Rob Reiner, in his first feature film directorial role (and the first of six great films in a row from his hands), delivered us a genuine classic. For anyone out there who may not know, this mockumentary of a rock band on tour is a brilliant combination of all of the above. A great (and somewhat realistic?) tour diary of a band who seem to be a spoof on any hard rock or prog band who toured during the 1970’s; from Hawkwind to Led Zeppelin. They’ve got the band manager, attitude, presence and egos that helped to define the great era of big rock. Oh, and they’ve also got the spandex, the volume and the armadillos…

This Is Spinal Tap



In short, Nigel Tufnel (Christopher Guest of The Princess Bride and of his own series of mockumentaries), David St. Hubbins (Michael McKean of Clue and Laverne and Shirley) and Derek Smalls (Harry Shearer of The Simpsons: Mr Burns, Smithers, Flanders and many more!) are the core of Spinal Tap, a British hard rock band in the second decade of their career. For the release of their newest album, Smell the Glove, the band proceeds to the US for its first North American tour in years. Sadly, this is the tour in which they come face to face with how “selective” their popularity has become. Starting out with a respectable itinerary of arena shows across the country, as the tour proceeds those shows start getting canceled, the album’s release is continually delayed, their bookings become much more unusual and the tension between the two lead members starts causing strife. This situation is not improved by the mid-tour addition of David’s pushy “yoko” girlfriend and her groovy attempts to improve the band. The footage of the tour in progress is interspersed with videos of past incarnations of the band, interviews of the band members discussing their musical history and the unusual deaths of their past drummers.

This Is Spinal Tap



If you haven’t seen it in a while, remember that This Is Spinal Tap includes all of those (now iconic) scenes: Stonehenge, “11”, the Air Force Base, “Puppet Show and Spinal Tap”, Graceland… Everything about this movie is fun and with the director and the cast writing the movie and most of it being somewhat ad libbed, it comes across as feeling very genuine. The movie is really a wonderful ensemble piece, with the film’s director playing the documentary director and the actors writing and playing the music in the film it really brings the production and the performance together. There are also many fun and short cameos. And, of course, the musical numbers are wonderfully great!

Tap in to witness all of your favorite tunes: Hell Hole, Big Bottoms, Sex Farm Woman, Stonehenge, Tonight I’m Gonna Rock You and more!

This Is Spinal Tap



I have the old Criterion Edition, which I wouldn’t recommend as its image quality isn’t very good (though I haven’t seen any of the newer editions to compare it with)… though it does have over an hour of cut scenes.



 

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Vitruvian Man

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